President Trump on Monday renominated Kathleen Hartnett White to be the top environmental official in the White House after the Senate had declined to consider her nomination during the congressional session that expired last month.
Democrats had successfully stalled White’s confirmation, with the Senate returning her nomination to the White House rather than automatically tabling her nomination into 2018 with other pending nominations.
Trump's decision to renominate White means the confirmation process will start again from scratch. The president could have chosen another nominee who had a better chance of being confirmed.
Now, White will have to have another vote in the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, which advanced her nomination along a party-line vote in late November. The full Senate did not vote on her nomination.
Democrats say White holds views contrary to established science on climate change that make her unfit to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, which coordinates environmental policy at the White House.
White is former chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who last worked at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that has received funding from Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other energy companies.
She has said "carbon dioxide is not a pollutant" and once referred to former President Barack Obama's climate change policies as "deluded and illegitimate."
She also has said those who believe in climate change follow a "kind of paganism" for "secular elites.”
Democrats recently celebrated after another Trump nominee, Michael Dourson, the president’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division, withdrew under pressure.
It's not clear if Senate Republicans, who hold a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber, can unite to support White. All Democrats oppose her.